IT IS ironic that as Brighton and Hove celebrates the opening of a landmark new cycle route (The Argus, June 15), Southern Railway is banning bikes from London to Brighton trains for the duration of the Olympics – July 27 to September 9.

Facilities for cyclists in Brighton are pretty good on the whole – it’s a pity visitors won’t be able to enjoy them, unless they come by car. Why?

Apparently, National Rail “encourages the integration of bikes and trains, two environmentally friendly forms of transport”. Really?

Banning bikes on trains during the summer holidays does not meet this criteria or fulfil the objectives of the Olympics to promote sustainability and a healthy environment. Nor is it a way to encourage sustainable travel or exercise and participation in what is one of our most successful sports.

Crowding on commuter trains already restricts the use of bikes for transport and leisure in the region – remember the heady days when we could get a train out of town on summer evenings for a ride in the countryside?

Why can’t train companies respond to market needs, accommodate customers and make enough room for bikes and for luggage, buggies and wheelchairs? This would meet their own stated objectives.

It looks like some of us will have reluctantly resorted to joining the traffic jams and driving to visit friends and family this summer.

Summer cycling options could be seriously curtailed.

Mary Stevens, Warleigh Road, Brighton